Secret Service vs. FBI Charity Lacrosse Game Comes to Annapolis

The USSS vs. FBI Charity Lacrosse Game is Saturday at St. Mary's High School Stadium in Annapolis, Md.

IT’S A CORNY STORY, not one you’d expect to hear from a U.S. Secret Service agent. But Brent Hardie shares it unabashedly.

On Sept. 6, 1995, the day Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played, a fifth-grade boy who cared more for lacrosse than baseball wandered the concourse with his mother at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Peering over a railing, the boy saw limousines and men in suits. One of the agents waved the boy down and gave him an impromptu tour of President Bill Clinton’s motorcade.

“That’s when I became infatuated with the service and following a path that would lead me there,” Hardie said. “It’s something I carried with me when I got to work on the president’s detail.”

Hardie never forgot what it felt like to be that boy, which is why he’s so passionate about the USSS vs. FBI Charity Lacrosse Game, the fourth edition of which will be played Saturday (1 p.m. EDT) at St. Mary’s High School Stadium in Annapolis, Md.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children, with proceeds benefiting Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), which provides resources to families of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

“There’s a lot of mystique surrounding our two agencies. We don’t necessarily like to talk about our work often or advertise who we work for outside our close family and friends. So when the public sees something with our agency names attached, it draws a lot of interest,” Hardie said. “My goal is to make this a community event, not just a lacrosse game.”

Hardie, 37, has worked in the Secret Service’s Washington and Baltimore field offices investigating financial crimes. He spent six years on protective detail for Presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden and has worked in the Cyber-Fraud Threat Intelligence Unit at Secret Service Headquarters. Currently, he works in the liaison division of the Office of Intergovernmental and Legislative Affairs.

But Hardie’s first love was lacrosse. He grew up in the Annapolis area playing for the Green Hornets of the Greater Severna Park Athletic Association and at Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore. He studied finance at James Madison University and competed for the club team there before pursuing a career in federal law enforcement.

Working on the president’s detail in 2018, Hardie met an agent who played lacrosse at Calvert Hall (Md.). They bonded over their shared high school lacrosse experiences during a shift at the White House.

“The Secret Service and FBI employee associations had their annual hockey game that has been played for years coming up,” Hardie said, referring to the annual Charity Hockey Game held at MedStar Capitals Iceplex and played in front of a capacity crowd. “We wanted to see if there was an appetite for a lacrosse game given the how popular lacrosse is in the Mid-Atlantic.”

More than 50 agents, officers and administrative personnel expressed interest in playing for the Secret Service lacrosse team, according to Hardie. In addition to the annual game against the FBI, they’ve played against the FDNY and NYPD teams as part of the Never Forget 9/11 memorial event on Long Island and suit up alongside their FBI counterparts as a team called FedLax.

There’s similar enthusiasm on the FBI side. Interviewed under the condition anonymity due to his position with the bureau, the team’s captain said the FBI lacrosse roster consists of about 60 players representing many of its 56 field agencies around the country including special agents, intelligence analysts, investigative specialists and even a sign language interpreter.

Each team fields about 30 players on game day.

“I was pleasantly surprised how fast the question, ‘Do you know anyone else who plays?’ was answered,” he said. “There’s something about the team environment of lacrosse that transitions well into law enforcement, in that both require trust in your teammates, selflessness  and the desire to succeed in the mission.”

Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), a cause that hit close to home in 2021 when the Secret Service and FBI lacrosse teams hosted the children and surviving spouses of two FBI Agents who were killed serving a warrant.

The inaugural USSS vs. FBI event took place four years ago at USA Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md. In 2021, they moved the game to The St. James in Springfield, Va., and invited the children and surviving spouses of two FBI agents who were killed serving a warrant in Florida a few months earlier. The three boys were honorary captains for the game. Both families received support from C.O.P.S., for which the event has raised more than $25,000 since its inception.

“To meet these children, talk with them and let them know that they’re not alone – that no matter what, they have 60 guys on that lacrosse field that they can turn to for anything – made the event worthwhile and really hit home as to why we do this each year,” Hardie said.

The USSS vs. FBI Charity Lacrosse Game is sponsored and organized by the Employee Recreation Association (ERA) of the United States Secret Service and the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA). This is not an official event of the Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the United States government.

All responses to the questions posed by USA Lacrosse are the thoughts and opinions expressed by individual members of the respective lacrosse teams and do not reflect the opinions of the United States Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation or the United States government.

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